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Alina Aeby's Blog

By Alina Aeby | Broker in San Francisco, CA
  • Two-Thirds of San Francisco, San Jose Homes Sell for Above Asking

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Francisco, Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco  |  September 10, 2014 3:22 PM  |  45 views  |  No comments

    Most Bay Area homes continue to sell above their list prices — a phenomenon unique to our real estate markets when compared with the rest of the country.

    Image of arrows pointing upAccording to recent research by Redfin, 65.3 percent of homes in the San Francisco metro area sold for more than list price in July, the largest percentage of any of the 35 U.S. metro areas included in the study. In San Jose, 62.1 percent of home sales involved a price premium, No. 2 in the country.

    Nationwide, only 20.1 percent of homes sold above their list prices, Redfin noted, and the next market coming closest to San Francisco and San Jose was Los Angeles, with 35.4 percent of homes selling for more than list price.

    The numbers speak to the continued demand for Bay Area homes, while the rest of the country sees a more pronounced shift in pricing power from sellers to buyers.

    In the Bay Area, where available homes for sales remain in tight supply, the move to a more balanced market is proceeding relatively slowly

    Redfin researchers noted that 23.7 percent of homes in the nation’s largest metro areas saw a drop in listing prices in July, compared with only 18 percent in the San Francisco area and 21.7 percent in San Jose. In Denver, meanwhile, 37.8 percent of homes had a drop in listing price.

    Nationwide, the median sale price for homes was up 5.5 percent in July from a year earlier, with a 10.4 percent increase in San Francisco and a 5.9 percent rise in San Jose. According to Redfin’s research, San Francisco had the highest median sales price in the country in July: $900,000. San Jose ranked as the second priciest market, with a median sales price of $741,000.

    Redfin predicted that an overall slowdown in home price growth, plus the move to more balanced markets, will result in an “unusual surge in home sales” this fall.

    Here in the Bay Area, we’re also expecting a busy autumn real estate season. In response to a recent internal survey, the majority of Pacific Union real estate professionals polled reported a slowdown in Bay Area home sales over they summer but said that they expected an uptick after Labor Day.

    Source: Pacific Union blog

  • Bay Area home shopping going strong this fall

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Francisco, Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco  |  September 8, 2014 1:05 PM  |  20 views  |  No comments

    House hunters in many parts of the U.S. typically back off from the market after Labor Day, but according to a recent Trulia blog post, that isn’t the case in the Bay Area’s largest metropolitan regions.

    Trulia says that home searches on its website decline 6 percent in September and October when compared with the annual average. But in San Francisco they don’t decrease at all, making it the third strongest autumn housing market of the 100 U.S. metro areas included in the study. Oaklandfollowed, with just a 1 percent decline, while San Jose usually sees a 2 percent seasonal slip, making it the country’s sixth busiest market in September and October.

    According to Trulia, weather plays a key role this trend, and the Bay Area’s traditional Indian summer likely helps boost autumn activity in our local markets.

    “Markets where search activity is high in autumn tend to have warm and dry Septembers and Octobers relative to their local climate in the rest of the year,” Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko wrote in the post.

    Source: Pacific Union blog
  • Home Construction higher than usual in San Francisco & San Jose

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Francisco, In My Neighborhood in San Francisco, Investment Properties in San Francisco  |  August 25, 2014 11:21 PM  |  58 views  |  No comments

    Inventory across the Bay Area remained low in July, so it comes as welcome news that home construction activity in our region’s two largest cities is on the rise.

    According to a recent Trulia blog post, the company’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko estimates that 2014 home construction activity in San Jose will be 69 percent higher than its historical average, the third largest expected gains in the U.S. The company predicts that home construction in San Francisco will be 36 percent above average, No. 9 in the country.

    But there’s a caveat, Kolko notes.

    “Of course, the normal level of construction in many of these markets – particularly Boston, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco – is low relative to most other metros across the country.”

    Source: Pacific Union Blog

  • First-time home buyers in the Bay Area finally having a turn

    Posted Under: Home Buying in San Francisco, Home Selling in San Francisco, Investment Properties in San Francisco  |  August 23, 2014 12:29 AM  |  42 views  |  No comments

    Good news for Bay Area buyers: A recent survey found that investors today are far less active in the region’s real estate markets than in years past, helping to ease some of the fierce competition for homes.

    Toy housesThe news is especially welcome for first-time buyers, who have struggled to compete against well-heeled investors paying all cash for starter homes and then turning them into rental properties or waiting a few months and flipping them at even higher price points.

    The California Association of Realtors’ 2014 Investor Survey, conducted in May and released to the public on Wednesday, found that  investors are changing their strategies and moving away from buying homes in more popular, urban areas in favor of rural locations of the state where better deals can be found.

    In 2014, nearly half (45 percent) of California investors said they purchased properties in rural counties such as Kern, Fresno, Merced, San Joaquin, and Tulare, up from 27 percent in 2013, according to the survey.

    Meanwhile, 15 percent of investors purchased properties in Northern California in 2014, down significantly from 27 percent in 2013.

    The organization gave an early look at some of the survey data two weeks ago, and Pacific Union reported at the time that rising home prices have curtailed investment activity in high-dollar Bay Area markets like Silicon Valley.

    The survey also found that 67 percent of investors paid cash, and one-third were residents of foreign countries, with China, Mexico, Taiwan, and India being the top countries of origin. Investors owned an average of 8.3 properties in 2014, up from 6.5 properties last year.

    Reflecting the recovering housing market, the majority of investment properties purchased in the last year (70 percent) were equity sales, while 18 percent were short sales and 12 percent were foreclosures.

    Most investors said they made minor or no repairs to the properties, and 55 percent said they intend to sell them within six years.

    Source: Pacific Union blog

    (Image: Flickr/Woodleywonderworks)

  • San Francisco Real Estate Updates- July 2014

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Home Selling  |  August 13, 2014 12:25 PM  |  59 views  |  2 comments


    The median San Francisco single-family home price fell month over month in July to $1.07 million, but it was the fifth month of 2014 where prices have exceeded $1 million. The MSI declined from June to 1.3, identical to levels recorded in May.

    San Francisco buyers had a bit more time to make a move than they did in the previous two months, as properties sold in an average of 31 days. As has been the case in every month thus far in 2014, home sold for more than asking price, this time by about 10 percent.

    SAN FRANCISCO – CONDOMINIUMSMonthlyMarketUpdate_July14_SFCondos

    After topping $1 million in June, the median condominium price in San Francisco cooled off in July, declining to $965,000. The MSI expanded slightly to 1.6, the highest it has been since February.

    Even with a bit of extra inventory to choose from, buyers still shelled out more than the original price to close a sale — an average 7.5 percent more. Homes left the market in an average of 33 days, similar to what we noticed in the preceding month.

    Source: Pacific Union blog

  • Investors' real estate market in California is cooling off

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Francisco, Home Buying in San Francisco, Investment Properties in San Francisco  |  August 7, 2014 1:53 PM  |  83 views  |  No comments

    Increasing prices are mildly cooling investment activity as the California housing market recovery continues, but these buyers still account for a substantial portion of sales.


    In the California Association of Realtors’ 2014 Investor Survey – conducted in May and later presented in a webinar – real estate professionals said that investors made up 32 percent of their business, down from 39 percent in 2013. CAR figures that rising prices likely have something to do with the slowdown.

    The median sales price for a single-family home in the state was $457,160 in June, a 7 percent annual increase. The current median price in California is 86 percent above its February 2009 low of $245,230 but still 23 percent short of its peak, set in May 2007.

    In Pacific Union’s Silicon Valley region, where the median single-family home price has hovered around $2.5 million for most of 2014, escalating prices have also led to a noticeable decline in investor activity, according to company Vice President David Barca.

    “The investment activity that has practically disappeared is for property that can be flipped or developed,” Barca says. “Prices are now so high that investors cannot realize acceptable margins when the property comes back on the market.”

    California Investor Trends and Demographics

    The vast majority of investors in the state – 80 percent — purchased single-family homes, a moderate gain from 2013. Investors have been moving much faster than typical buyers this year, scooping up properties in a median time of 15 days, more the twice as fast as the overall California market is moving.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, investors are primarily motivated by profit, with 58 percent citing the potential to make money as their main reason for buying. Indeed, CAR found that about three-quarters of investors expect home prices to rise in the coming year and over the next half-decade.

    And perhaps fearing another housing downturn, the majority of investors don’t plan to hold for long: 55 percent expect to keep the home for less than six years.

    The survey also found that home flips across the state have increased on an annual basis, up from 20 percent in 2013 to 28 percent this year. Like the decrease in investment activity, CAR says that price appreciation is probably the main factor driving the trend.

    Most of California’s real estate investors already have skin in the game, with 83 percent replying that they own at least one other property. Investors had an average age of 51 and skewed 75 percent male.

    And as one might expect, the majority of Golden State investors are affluent and liquid: 58 percent earned more than $200,000 per year, and two-thirds paid all cash for their home.

    CAR’s data shows that the state saw a slight 3 percent decrease in international investors from a year ago, but overseas buyers still make up about one-third of all California investors. China was the most prevalent country of origin for international investors.

    But even though most California investors plan to sell in less than six years, Chinese buyers in the Bay Area don’t typically make deals to turn a quick buck, according to Pacific Union CEO Mark A. McLaughlin.

    “It’s added a demographic of buyers who generally take a long-term view,” McLaughlin told KPIX in a televised interview in June. “They’re not sellers in the next five to seven years. So it is going to drive housing prices up.”

    McLaughlin offered his in-depth thoughts on Chinese homebuyers in the Bay Area in a May interview with SFGate. And earlier this week, he explained Pacific Union’s unique China Concierge program in an interview with Real Estate Coaching Radio.

    Source: Pacific Union blog

    (Photo: Flickr/Steven Depolo)

  • Home purchasing- overwhelming for most buyers

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in San Francisco, Home Buying in San Francisco, Financing in San Francisco  |  July 25, 2014 11:59 AM  |  82 views  |  2 comments

    A recent survey of prospective homebuyers found that most believe they are financially prepared for home ownership, yet many admit they aren’t sure what purchasing a property will actually cost them.

    Illustration of a house made of hundred-dollar billsNearly 90 percent of buyers surveyed say they know what type of property they can afford, but only 52 percent have actually determined what their monthly mortgage payment would be, according to the poll byDiscover Home Loans.

    Forty-one percent say they haven’t yet calculated their down payment, and nearly half — 48 percent — say they don’t know how much their mortgage payment would be if they chose a more or less expensive property.

    Most homebuyers say they find the financing process “overwhelming,” including 76 percent of first-time buyers and, surprisingly, 54 percent of previous owners.

    “The sheer amount of information can lead to confusion and stress,” Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans, said  in a statement accompanying the survey results.

    For help understanding the financial aspects of home ownership, buyers say they are more likely to turn to real estate professionals than other sources of information such as family, friends, and mortgage bankers.

    Fully two-thirds of buyers said they consulted a real estate professional for help and information to assess whether purchasing a home will be a good investment, compared with 56 percent who said they spoke with family or friends and 39 percent who went to a mortgage banker.

    For help evaluating mortgage terms and competing offers, 59 percent sought the advice of a mortgage banker, and 49 percent turned to a real estate professional.

    Source: Pacific Union blog

    (Image: Flickr/401(K) 2012)

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